Ontario seeks to give remote workers mass layoff protections


Published March 13, 2023 at 2:40 pm

Ontario is proposing to strengthen rules around mass layoffs to include greater protections for employees who work remotely.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton made the announcement Monday in Kitchener, Ont., home to a lot of the province’s tech jobs, a sector that has seen a number of mass layoffs.

McNaughton announced that the province is proposing to update employment laws to ensure employees who work solely from home are eligible for the same enhanced notice as “in-office” and other employees in mass termination situations.

He says the changes would give remote workers the same eight-week minimum notice of termination or pay-in-lieu as other employees.

McNaughton says it could increase how much a worker receives in a layoff by as much as eight times, as the minimum severance pay for an individual layoff is one week, whereas the minimum for a mass layoff is eight weeks.

The labour minister says he will be introducing legislation that would include broadening the definition of an establishment under the Employment Standards Act to include employees’ remote home offices.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2023.

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